RFI #9 from consumer protection agency looks at ‘inherited rules’ and rulemaking authorities

Inherited regulations and rulemaking authorities are topics for the ninth “request for information,” issued Thursday, by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the agency’s efforts to uncover “evidence” that it is doing the job it was created to do.

Under the RFI issued (the latest in a series of 12 total to be ultimately issued by the bureau), comments and information are sought about whether the agency “should amend the regulations or exercise the rulemaking authorities that it inherited from other federal government agencies,” the agency said in a statement.

The bureau inherited a variety of rules and authorities when it was created in 2010 from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and other federal agencies related to federal financial institution regulation.

“The purpose of this RFI is to seek feedback on the content of the Inherited Regulations, not the Bureau’s rulemaking processes, implementation initiatives that occur after the issuance of a final rule, or the Adopted Regulations,” the bureau stated in its notice, also pointing out those latter areas are addressed in RFIs either already issued or still to come. “Also please note that the Bureau is not requesting comment on any pending rulemaking for which the Bureau has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or otherwise solicited public comment,” the notice states.

Generally, the agency is looking for feedback on:

  • Aspects of the inherited regulations that should be tailored to particular types of institutions or to institutions of a particular size; create unintended consequences; overlap or conflict with other laws or regulations “in a way that makes it difficult or particularly burdensome for institutions to comply”; are incompatible or misaligned with new technologies, including by limiting providers’ ability to electronically deliver mandatory disclosures or other information that may be relevant to consumers; or could be modified to provide consumers greater protection from the incidence and effects of identity theft.
  • Changes the agency could make to the inherited regulations to more effectively “meet the statutory purposes and objectives set forth in the Federal consumer financial laws, as well as the bureau’s predecessor agencies’ specific goals for the particular Inherited Regulation in the first instance.”
  • Changes the agency could make to the inherited regulations that advance the statutory purposes and objectives of the agency outlined in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).
  • Pilots, field tests, demonstrations, or other activities that the CFPB could launch to better “quantify benefits and costs of potential revisions to the Inherited Regulations,” or make compliance with the inherited rules more efficient and effective.
  • Areas where the CFPB has inherited rulemaking authority, but has not exercised it, where rulemaking would be beneficial and align with the purposes and objectives of the applicable federal consumer financial laws.

In a release, the bureau also revealed in Thursday’s notice the topic areas for the final three RFIs expected over the next three weeks. Those topic areas are:

  • Guidance and Implementation Support
  • Consumer Education
  • Consumer Inquiries

RFI on inherited rules and rulemaking authorities

Federal Register notice (scheduled March 26)